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How to Become a Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
By: Dr. Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
In kindergarten through grade 12, the student should focus on breadth of knowledge, mastery of subject material, high class rank, standardized test scores at the 90th percentile or above, and a host of extracurricular activities. Most students will have several options for college choice, though the ultimate selection of school probably has very little to do with success in the future.
In the four years of college, many premedical students will choose to major in biology or biology-related fields, but this is certainly not necessary. In fact, it may be a disadvantage if other fields are less competitive in that college or university. While attending an elite college or university may help to gain admittance to medical school, it is by no means a certainty. Even high MCAT scores and high GPAs do not make this a certainty. Working with a medical school professor in his or her lab may be enough to tip the balance at some medical schools.
Medical school admittance ushers in another 4 years of didactic learning followed by some clinical integration in years 3 and 4. No tests are probably of more import than the board tests administered, referred to as Steps 1 and 2. With high Step scores and AOA (top 5 or 10% of class) in medical school, virtually any residency can be achieved. However, the integrated plastic surgery residency poses the greatest challenge with an acceptance lower than any other residency.
In addition to stellar grades (AOA) and high Step 1 and 2 scores, publications and work in a renowned lab may be the only thing to distinguish one candidate from another. In fact, many seemingly less qualified candidates on paper have secured a spot with work in a specific lab affiliated with the residency. Some of these individuals have spent 1 or 2 years or more after finishing medical school in hopes of securing this position.
In an integrated plastic surgery residency, you will have at least 6 years of additional training, which includes a minimum of 3 years of general surgery training followed by 3 years of plastic surgery training. You will have yearly written exams to assess competence in addition to the minimal 80 hour a week clinical rotations focusing on the gamut of surgical management.
The final step may be the consideration for additional fellowship training in a variety of subspecialty areas including aesthetic, microvascular, hand, and craniofacial.
Both written and oral boards will be required for a plastic surgeon to become board certified after residency and fellowship are completed.
For more information about the journey, visit Dr. Kenneth Benjamin Hughes, MD at
Dr. Kenneth Benjamin Hughes
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon